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Acronym STEM stands for – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

Why we need more Girls in STEM, and why it should begin early at a young age? It is an undeniable fact that women are underrepresented in STEM careers than men in countries like the United States. The girls as early as age 6 steer away from the smart games and doubt their intellectual ability. This negative stereotype affects their career choice and embracing STEM when they grow up. There is a prevailing gender-biased stereotype that teaches “blue” is for boys, and “pink” is for girls. And we begin this sub-consciously as we start to decorate their baby room.

We have a prevailing social norm that believes that only boys can be good at science and mathematics. Young children are competent to learn STEM. Besides the classroom setting, parents need to jump into being ambassadors to positively inspire and empower the girls to make a more significant impact and reverse the trend. Parents can be a crucial influence in determining the roles their child would play and the position in their child to see themselves in.

Yes, we need girl power! A charming magical princess in STEM – a key to innovation and advancing careers in technology . We need girls to pursue STEM and serve as a role model.

Inspire her with appropriate role models

We need more real individuals, television shows, books where we can portray women as scientists, engineers or astronauts, and other STEM roles. My girl when she was three, she believed that only boys could be astronauts. It took a while for me to tackle this gender stereotype by showing her videos on YouTube of women (Anne McClain and Sunita Williams) in space. She was in awe to watch how beautiful Earth looks like from space.  Introduce the girls to more real-life women in STEM careers. It provides every girl to have the vision of opportunity they could have while growing up. Also, it molds their thought process to see STEM as exciting and achievable.

Encourage her

Encourage them for all the new little awesome things they try and learn. Also, do not discourage them from the things they cannot do, instead inspire them to keep trying. Tell them it is okay to be imperfect. Offer them your undivided attention and support them for all the curiosity they have for technology and how it works. Provide them with hands-on experience to solve real-world problems. PBS Kids provides the engaging activities that parents can do over the weekends.

Support her passion

Enroll her to workshops, after-school STEM programs, and camps. Microsoft provides an excellent STEM action guide that provides an extensive guide for parents and teachers to inspire girls into STEM. Apple offers exciting sessions for young kids to introduce them to coding skills. Other several organizations are striving to bridge the STEM gender gap. Smithsonian offers free resources designed for as early as grade 1. Not only, such programs and activities boost confidence in girls but also make them feel powerful to pursue and succeed in STEM.

Invigorate her brain

Ask a lot of “How,” “what” and “Why” questions. It presents them with the opportunity to push their thought processes, build their critical thinking, and spark curiosity. They even might surprise you with their answers! Make them learn to Code. Code.org provides exciting lessons for kids as early as age 4. Made with Code also offers free resources to stimulate the girls’ interest in coding.

Enhance her vocabulary with precise scientific terms

Use a lot of scientific expressions in your natural dialogue with an explanation.

Be a Mentor

Pursue their interests in technology, math, and science. Expose them early to computing skills and show them how technology affects daily lives and solve the problems. Enroll them for boot camps and workshops.

Explore with her

Take your little girls to the science museum, nature walks. Encourage them to ask questions to develop their reasoning.

Read Books

Read it aloud to your STEM enthusiastic fascinating science and STEM books that relate it to everyday life. National Geographic, one of my favorite, has a fantastic collection of books for all ages. Read with them the writings of female scientists and engineers, including how their persona relates to them. It broadens their career choices and opportunities in STEM. Rachel Ignotofsky has beautifully recognized the 50 women in STEM from the ancient to the modern world and is an excellent reference for every parent.

Start a Computer Club

Girls Who Code offers the opportunity to start your computer club as early as third grade during after-school offers. It immensely helps to build their technical skills, enhance creativity and problem-solving skills.

Most importantly, raise the awareness of the benefits of pursuing a career in STEM not only in the young girls but also their parents.

Revise the ways how we raise our girls!

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